How to Peacefully Fulfill Your Dreams

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Today was the first day of PARCC testing for my sixth graders. My team and I were e-mailing each other if we had questions. One of our concerns was,”Which button do we have to press at the end of the session?  Log Out or Submit?” In the end, it was clear as day which button the students had to hit!  The moral of the story is we spent so much time anticipating a problem that did not even exist.  How many times to we create obstacles along our path that, in reality, are just illusions? Instead of worrying about how you will accomplish your goals, here are three steps to accomplishing your goals while maintaining inner peace.

 

Step One: Admit You are Trying to Control Everything. 

Admitting your flaws is the first step to healing them! I am always eager to accomplish goals and experience the next big thing: a new house, advancement in my career, and another degree… There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but obsessing over them causes fabricated stress.

It is not every day that we can harvest the fruits of our labor. Of course those moments are rewarding: when we finally close on that house, earn that degree, get engaged, or land that dream job.  The reality is that most days we are sowing the seeds of our dreams and working towards them. It is not always glamorous, and there are usually many unknown and unpredictable factors. This is what causes us to feel frazzled and why we try to control the process. We allow fears and doubts to overcome us, but many times these are just illusions. The goal is to have a more positive focus when stepping in the direction of our dreams.

Step Two: Let Go and Pay Attention

Instead of controlling the pathway your dreams step-by-step, try to be open to a creative solution or alternative version of your dream. Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, “pay attention.” Simply pay attention to the clues around you and you will be guided to your dreams or something better!  This is a practical way of “actively letting go.”  So even though you are “letting go,” your are still “doing” something.

Here is how this paradox works. After you set your intentions of what you want for yourself, go about your  regular day-to-day activities.  Be aware of your surroundings and live in the present moment; you will be guided in the right direction. Maybe you will see a “For Sale” sign that you never noticed before, or you will have a conversation with someone random that leads you to a connection that you need. You never know how things will work out, but if you pay attention to the signs, you’ll be guided step by step. It sort of turns into a game, and it can actually be fun watching your dreams unfold in creative ways. Helpful people and opportunities are all around you, all you have to do is keep an open heart and mind.

Step Three: Take Small Action Steps

Take a little step every single day in the direction of your dreams and watch those seeds you have planted grow. One of my goals is to become a published author, but that will only happen if I…um…write! It took everything I had this evening to walk away from the clean pile of unfolded laundry that is overtaking my bed.  After spending nearly two hours of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and putting our toddler to bed, I could have easily kept on going with what “has to be done.” But I had an ah-ha moment today that made me realize that if I don’t start doing what I love TODAY, then I am going to miss out on what is really important in life. 

If you want to start a side business, walk away from the TV and start working on your web site or blog. Maybe your goal is to look and feel better about yourself.  Instead of vacuuming, take the extra time to pre-cut veggies for a healthy snack or steal those 15 minutes to do a workout on YouTube. There will always be more dishes and laundry.  You need to take time for yourself and step into the direction of your dreams.  After 10 minutes you can go back to that pile of laundry on your bed and start folding…

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Jack Canfield, “You are not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.”  I believe that we are each given specific desires in life because it is part of our mission and dharma here on this Earth. Follow your heart.  You would not be given a dream unless you had the ability to accomplish it, and you might as well have fun while you are doing it! I hope you follow the signs that bring you closer to your personal success and enjoy the ride!

Until next time, namaste!

Kristina Hollinger

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50 Shades of Red: How to use red wisely in feng shui

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Red is a very vibrant and powerful color.  It can be used in your home to increase passion, gain more recognition for accomplishments, or create more motivation. However, if used too much, it can cause aggression and stress.  Red represents the fire element.  Along with candles and the shape of the triangle, fire can be represented by all shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink. I recently bought a new red accent rug for our living room, and it just did NOT feel right.  Knowing how powerful the color is, I did some more research on red to get a better understanding on how to use it.  Here are three quick tips when considering red decor: the dos, the don’ts, and the exceptions!

DO:

  1. Red represents the fire element, so it is best in the fame and reputation area of your home (directly to the back and center when you enter your front door).  Fame and reputation is all about how the world views you.  If you don’t have any red or fire energy in this area, you might be feeling like your hard work keeps going unnoticed.  Perhaps you are feeling left out– did your invitation get lost in the mail? An easy way to fix this situation would be to add red in the fame and reputation area. The night before a job interview, light a candle in this area.  You want your future employer to see you in your best light, and this will help. It’s really hard to overdo the red in this area, so have fun with it!
  2. Is your relationship lacking passion and intimacy? Have you been feeling indecisive?  Are you feeling tired and lack of energy? All of this could be helped by adding a little red to the following three guas: the relationship area (to the back and right when you enter your front door) and the wisdom and knowledge area (to the left and front when you enter your front door), and the health area (the center of your home). These guas are all ruled by the earth element.  Since fire burns wood and creates earth, the fire element helps the relationship, wisdom, and health guas!  I would not recommend painting the walls red, but accent of red or other “fire colors” suggested above, would work great here.
  3. Did you know that the master bedroom, kitchen, and bathrooms are the most important rooms to feng shui?  A little red can be helpful in your master bedroom. Some red accent pillows or artwork will add passion into your life.  In addition, adding shades of red in the bathroom is a GREAT idea!  No matter which area your bathroom is, it is always a draining water energy.  Adding red helps slow down the water energy and keeps you feeling more stable.

Don’t: I will keep this one shot and sweet.  With all the benefits of red, you want to avoid too much red in any of the other guas such as wealth, career and helpful people.  For example, the wealth area is represented by wood.  If you put fire in the wealth area it will “burn up” your finances.  In addition, the career area is represented by water.  Too much fire energy will weaken your career.

Exceptions: Feng shui is all about intention!  If the red pillow, rug, or picture FEELS right to you, then go ahead and keep it.  However, if something feels off in that area, try removing the red.  You would be surprised how quickly the energy shifts.  In addition, if you want to “activate” your wealth and finances that you could add a little red to your wealth area or light a candle.  If there is no fire energy in the room, then that area of life may be feeling dull or low energy.  A little red can always give it a boost!

So, what happened with that rug I bought on clearance at Home Goods?  I originally put it in my living room, which is the helpful people/travel area.  It felt way too heavy. So, I moved the rug into the dining room.  The dining room is located in the relationship area of our house, and coincidentally it just felt so much better there!  The red energy of the rug nourishes the earth element, so it work well and just feels right.  In addition, the dining room table represents wealth.  Therefore, adding red to that area will hopefully activate our wealth! For now, I feel good about the new rug, but I am always moving things around.  Just as our lives are different everyday, so is the energy in our homes.  Feng shui is an ongoing journey that supports us through all of life’s peaks and valleys.

I hope you found this post helpful in your next decorating endeavor!

Until next time, Namaste!

Kristina Hollinger

 

How to “Let Go” and Manifest Your Dreams: A 2 Part New Moon Exercise

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The new moon is a time to reflect inward and plant the seeds for that which you want to grow in your life, such as a new business or relationships. Recently I have struggled to find balance between actively manifesting my dreams and “letting go,” trusting that the universe is genius and everything is working out for my greatest good.  Since it’s the new moon, it got me thinking about the balance between yin and yang, which is essential if you want to feel peaceful and harmonious.  The new moon represents yin energy, whereas the full moon is yang. In feng shui, and life in general, we are constantly going back and forth between action and rest, trying to find the happy balance between the two.  This post is intended to give you inspiration to manifest your greatest desires and keep your energy (and sanity) at the same time.  In order to fulfill your dreams, you must first manifest and then surrender control.

Part One: Manifest

So, I know that when many people think of feng shui, they think of the physical placement of objects.  However, there is an internal aspect of feng shui that is just as powerful, if not more.  You see, feng shui will only really work when you set an intention behind the object placement.  Your thoughts and intentions are powerful.  When we think about what we really want, we are “manifesting” and attracting that which we desire.  This is considered a “yang” or active energy.

The truth is, we all have the ability to create the life we desire with the words we choose to think and speak and the energy we create. When we visualize and feel the joy that our fulfilled dreams give us, we ultimately tap into the universal flow of life which is always saying “yes!” to everything we are asking for. God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, wants us to be happy and fulfilled.  We are given dreams and desires that are unique to us because we are meant to follow our hearts and fulfill a dharma, or destiny, that only we can fulfill.

We can use positive affirmations to attract what we want in life. You can say these to yourself repeatedly and/or write them down and place them somewhere safe. Now, there are some “rules” when it comes to saying an affirmation.  Here is what I have come to learn:

  1. Make affirmations in the present tense: If you want a new house you would say, “I am grateful for my new, beautiful home that is big enough to entrain and grow into and that I can easily afford.”  This affirms that you have what you want already.  If you said something like, “I can’t wait to have the perfect home…” it places what you want in the future, and there it will remain.
  2. Use gratitude: When you say affirmations, say them with a grateful and joyful heart.  Trust that you are being heard and BELIEVE that it IS already set in motion.
  3. Visualize and feel like it is real: Athletes, CEOs and many other successful people have used visualization techniques to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams.  When you set your intention, imagine it as if it already has happened.  Using the example of a new home, visualize walking into your front door.  Feel the joy as you see your friends and family gathering in your new home.  Then, as you go about your day, act as if it’s already on its way.

Part Two: Surrender

While the action of saying or writing affirmations is “yang” energy,  letting go is “yin” energy, and it is just as important.  This is the part where I tend to struggle. Many times we want to control the outcome.  If we affirmed that we would get a new house, the how is not up to us.  If we are too specific and affirm that we will get the house on 35 Cherry Tree Lane, we might miss other opportunities that would have been better suited for us in the long run.  We only have the ability to see what is happening in our life right now, but remember that Devine source has the power to see all aspects of our lives and into our future.  God, or the universe, knows what is ultimately best for us.  So, once we do the affirming, we need to let go and TRUST that the BEST possible outcome is coming our way.  Although I have not perfected the ability to let go of control, here are some tips that have helped me:

  1. Say “thank you” for so-called disappointments and failures: When something does not work out exactly how we had hoped–we lose a bid on a new house or don’t get a job we wanted– try being grateful.  Mayo Angelou once said that if someone leaves you or if something does not work out say,”Thank you.  Something better is waiting for me.”  Try thinking of something that worked out for you in your life. I bet if you really think about it, you could see how some of the seeming disappointments you experienced beforehand actually led you to that ideal and perfect new situation or outcome.  Even though we think we know exactly what we want, sometimes there is something better planned for us.
  2. Quiet your mind and be present: If you can find a guided meditation or take a few minutes to concentrate on your breathe, it will bring you into the present moment. Sometimes we forget to do the simplest thing, and that is to just take some deep breathes.  Try it right now.  Take three deep breathes: Fill up your lungs and belly as you inhale through your nose, and concentrate as you exhale through your mouth… How do you feel?  Surrendering to the present moment and realizing that all is well right now in this exact moment, helps us to connect with the positive universal flow of abundance.  When we are present, not worried about the future or regretting the past, we are more open to all the abundance that the present moment has to offer. If we live fully present in each moment, we can trust and know that each choice we make in the present moment will lead us one step closer to that which we desire.
  3. Say “thank you”- Funny enough, an attitude of gratitude fits into the yin & yang section, so I suppose it is the connecting link.  In gratitude you will find balance and inner peace.  There are SO many things to be grateful for.  Even if you are having the worst day, try being thankful for the simple things we usually take for granted: clean water, a warm shower, electricity, a cup of coffee, someone who gave you a smile…  The more you are grateful, the happier you will feel.

 

I recently saw a quote that pretty much sums everything up.  “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, but they make the best of everything they have.” It’s completely natural and healthy to want to better your life: excel in your career, improve your home, find the perfect mate, or fulfill a lifelong dream.  So please, go ahead and attract the best into your life by affirming it is already so!  But don’t burn yourself out or beat yourself up when it doesn’t happen exactly as you planned. Remember to be grateful for what you already have today.  Life is full of abundance and opportunities, and you have EVERYTHING you need right now.

Until next time, namaste!

Kristina Hollinger